compiled/edited by Paula Hemphill in Meet Other CAs
We're a couple of weeks into Ask August. Maybe you're feeling empowered. Maybe you're feeling weary. No matter what you're feeling right now, I'm sure you'll be encouraged and inspired by these beautiful women of faith.
"What keeps me going is the faces of the sweet children who have seen horrible things and are losing their time to be simply kids. The refugees desperately need hope.... When I see those same little ones in a Child Friendly Space with painted faces smiling, then I must push forward to help all of those refugees have a chance to play and smile. My own father was burned by Nazis in Italy when he was a boy. Only recently can he speak of the way that war affected him. He, like many of these refugee children, lost a brother during the war. I am pushed forward by knowing that it is not a political issue to help refugees, but a Christian obligation. It's not a choice to be a Good Samaritan. Remember that the Samaritan was the enemy of the man who helped him. We must insist that our Christians do the same.
When Ask August is all said and done, I hope to learn that there are some who truly care about this situation. I hope to learn how to get church people on board.
If you're stuck for ideas, here are a few: Ask at work. Ask your children's friend's parents. Ask at your children's games and activities. Ask your PTA. Ask Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. Set up a table at a local grocery. Keep the Refugee Responder in your purse at church and everywhere you go and ask. Have them out a your garage sale. Host a lemonade stand for refugees. Ask your pediatrician dentist, doctor, local social worker. Ask at a mosque, a Lebanese restaurant, local falafel joint, and hummus place. Make phone calls to friends. Just don't be afraid. All someone can say is "no" and remember God goes before you. Pray everyday about who and where to ask. Remember that the poor and forgotten are humble enough to beg for their children."
- Vicki Casper
"I have been lead by God and I am following His call to help those in need. And I know that I have to ask to get a 'maybe' or a 'yes'-- because nothing happens when I'm silent. I also know that what World Vision is doing is needed and it works. All of these things motivate me to continue to ask!
At the end of this month I hope that I will have learned to be more bold and to be committed to pray daily about each child-- asking God to take care of and protect each child, and to help me find the 'perfect' sponsor for each child World Vision assigns to me.
If you're struggling this month, I would ask you to think back and remember why you decided to be a CA. Children will never get a sponsor if we are silent. We need to remember to ask God to give us courage. And never discount anyone! Maybe that person that we didn't ask would have been a sponsor for a child. But we never know until we ask! Big deal if they say 'no'. Move on to the next POTENTIAL SPONSOR and keep asking!!!
Remember, we are are not asking someone to join a multi-level marketing company. Nor are we asking for HUGE donations (but , by all means, take the money if that's what they are moved to do!). Instead, we are asking people to take part in one of the most AMAZING and FULFILLING opportunities of a lifetime: to be a part of changing the world, maybe even saving a child’s life, and truly following what we are asked to do by Jesus! This is it, friends! When Jesus commanded us to love our neighbors and to take care of the least of these, well, this is it! WOW! What an incredible gift we have been given by being a child ambassador!!!!!!!!!"
- Merrill Swenke
I understand what it is like to paralyzed by fear. The fear of rejection is strong in all of us. When I talk to people I am presenting them with an opportunity to respond to God’s love and the work to which He has called each. People that I felt sure would respond, like my family, have said no. Others who I mentally made a judgment call and in my mind said they would never sponsor a child have sponsored more than one child. Then shamefully I think, “Lord forgive me for judging them. What if I had not presented the opportunity?”
But when I am facing the decision to speak or not, I remember this quote, which speaks to me:
“When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” – Audre Lorde
So, how do I get past the fear of rejection and move forward? Here is how I do it: First of all, I don’t want my ask to be a high pressure sales pitch which they will regret tomorrow. I want people to understand the reality of the situation and for them to make a decision they will stick with long term. I realize that I am presenting this person with an opportunity. I usually have an elevator speech, 3 minutes or under, in which I can quickly present to this person. My favorite is to tell a story from the field, one that has impacted me. This could be about your sponsored child and how sponsorship has made a difference, or it could be someone else’s story. Do not feel bad about borrowing stories. Any story that had an impact on you, you will tell it with passion. When I have completed my story, I MUST DO AN ASK. My ask is, “Would you like to make a difference through sponsorship/pledge in the life of a child?”
When the person I have spoken to declines with a “No,” I thank them and let them know that if they would like to be involved in the future, I can help them select a child from anywhere in the world they feel led to help.
Now, back to my own thoughts after this rejection. These are the thoughts I rely on when experiencing a NO.
- Jo Carlson
Photos in post contributed by Laura Walls
Greater Together is a collaborative blog written by volunteer child ambassadors for World Vision.